Remembering Dave Bunnell

I first met Dave Bunnell in the summer of 1984. He was telling me about this new magazine he founded and how much Apple was cooperating and helping them launch.

I was amazed that a hardware vendor would work so closely with a magazine publisher, but that’s the kind of thing that happened — back then. Entirely new ways of thinking about business, relationships and educating customers — unfolding around us in everyday fashion. No one called it innovation back then, its just the news that filled up MacUser, Mac+ and MacWorld.

The actual process of educating a burgeoning industry could be made profitable — and Dave (along with Pat McGovern and Bill Ziff) proved that fact through the 80’s and 90’s. GUIs, Desktop Publishing, Productivity software in enterprise, Photoshop, Multimedia — it all was brand new at one point.

Lots of things for readers to learn.

The MacWorld convention was where everything happened and that was all because of Dave Bunnell and MacWorld magazine.

30 years later I sat next to Dave on stage at the Mac 30th Anniversary event.

They gave him :05 mins to recollect on what it was like back in 1984 and my body glowed with the memories and energy coming out of Dave. [That’s Adam Hertz to the other side of Dave — clapping.]

Dave Bunnell’s passing is like a knife in the heart of our memories. His death reminds us all that history and ageism is just as much a part of our industry as SnapChat changing their revenue model or Tesla’s timeliness in cranking out 300,000 cars in 12 months.

Can they do it?, WTF!, “Hey remember when…”, “who are you? get lost!”, who’s funding you?, “Oh sorry — we don’t cover anyone older than 35……”

Most of us are being discarded and tossed aside.

Some of us will persevere, survive and resiliently come back into focus. Others will whither and die.

It all swirls and rolls into one giant Tech consciousness and Dave was there at the beginning. If it wasn’t for Dave we wouldn’t have had the social phenomena which was called the Mac community, which means that computer graphics, multimedia, the Internet, mobile computing, VR and AI would never have happened.

Just like we owe a lot of thanks to Doug Engelbart, Alan Kay, Dave Winer, Mitch Kapor, Ted Nelson, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, John Gilmore, John Perry Barlow, Howard Rheingold, R U Sirius, Brewster Kahle, Tim Pozar, Doc Searls, Dave Weinberger, John Doerr, Marc Andreessen, Paul Bucheit, Larry&Sergey, Elon Musk, Marc Benioff and Mark Zuckerberg (to name a few) — we also owe a lot of thanks to Dave Bunnel — publisher of MacWorld Magazine and Events.

Dave was at AOL’s 25th birthday party — and I got to hang out with him and Dave Winer. The party was held at Steve Case’s “compound” — which used to be the Kennedy compound — on the Potomac.

There were a lot of guys in black suits (MIB style) with ear phones on. The crib is next door to the CIA in Langley, VA. But we didn’t care!

We had fun, we laughed, we remembered, and we knew — that it was “the best of times.”

We were there when it all began. Fuck um if they don’t give us credit, invite us to their parties or put us on their boards and ask our opinion on things. We know what we did, how we all got here — and where (at least some of) those skeletons are buried.

The memories of the early days, Heidi Roizen riding in on a side saddle at MacWorld Dallas — who can forget? That was Dave Bunell’s party. Now look at us!

Who’s the Boss?


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